Clemsons Gifford Timothy unlikely to start opener; Ryan Norton earns first-team work at left guard
CLEMSON - An inexperienced and untested Clemson line already appears headed for a shakeup.
Coach Dabo Swinney said Wednesday he does not expect right tackle Gifford Timothy to be able to start the season opener Sept. 1 versus Auburn.
Timothy had arthroscopic surgery to repair a damaged meniscus in his knee last week.
Timothy did some light running after practice Tuesday and while Swinney is “encouraged” with how Timothy is moving he said the redshirt sophomore, who is the team’s projected starting right tackle, will likely be too far behind to start. He hopes he is available in a reserve role.
“I don’t see him being able to start for us but I’m hopeful we can have him ready (for a reserve role),” Swinney said. “I’m encouraged by where he is right now. .... He is going to have to take some reps game week to at least be available that’s my hope. I’ve been encouraged by him back starting running and the way he is walking. We still have a ways to go. I’d say next Friday we will have more information.”
Swinney said freshmen Joe Gore and Shaq Anthony are the likely options at right tackle for the season opener though Swinney said center Dalton Freeman could also be used there.
“All options are on the table,” Swinney said.
Subhed: Norton earns first team reps
Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris compared the second full week of training camp to a Saturday at the Masters golf tournament, when contenders start to separate from the field.
One player who has begun to separate from the pack might be Ryan Norton earned first-team reps at left guard in Wednesday’s scrimmage, despite playing through an illness.
Projected starting left guard Kalon Davis was demoted at times to working with the second-team unit.
Norton, a redshirt freshman, has also worked at first-team center this camp when the coaches experimented with moving Freeman to right tackle.
Clemson is in desperate need of offensive line help and the coaches have cited the 6-foot-3, 270-pound Norton as one of the pleasant surprises at training camp. Norton now appears to be a contender to start the opener against Auburn.